, Newburyport, MA

July 8, 2013

Unenrolled voter frustration

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

Over several decades, as the inequality of wealth in America has widened the gap between those super-rich and the rest of us, so too has a gap between the two-party elected political officeholders and the choices Unenrolled (Independent) voters have to represent them and their neither Democrat nor GOP agendas.

When I first began to vote in the 1970s, I was not aware of anyone who called themselves anything but Democrat or Republican. Sometime around the Reagan years the number of Unenrolled voters began to rise substantially. Both parties noticed that reality (Robert Putnam, “Bowling Alone”). The number and loyalty of those within their individual camps were shrinking. Volunteers dwindled and paid consultants replaced them. Sometime around 2005 the number of Unenrolled began to exceed those of the two major parties combined. Certainly here in Massachusetts.

Thus began the party representatives of the minority of voters making laws for the Independent voter majority. If this trend continues, and among the under-30 group it is a fact, not a trend, we will eventually reach a state where most all the people to vote for on ballots will be chosen from less than 20 percent of the people who remain GOP or Democrats. Add that fact to the reality of a few percent of top earners holding over 50 percent of the nation’s wealth and control the two-party system, then you have a genuine iron-clad oligarchy alive and well ruling America without the slightest possibility of opposition. Many passionately believe such domination is already here.

One obvious solution would be for more candidates to run as Independents. They could challenge both the Republican and Democratic parties and would not be beholden to any party bosses, corporate or wealthy individual financial contributions or rigid ideological platforms. Campaign finance laws would have to be in place first so the major parties could not outspend Independents by absurd margins. Demanding all broadcast public political debates require qualified Independent candidates to have an equal say in them must be strictly enforced. Most importantly, truly effective, intelligent candidates need to come forward to run for offices as Independents. Then initiating new enlightened legislation once elected and being held accountable for their actions promoting appropriate bills on behalf of the growing Independent voter majority’s desires.

I shudder to think of the consequences for America if such actions are not begun immediately before the 2014 elections. Like the USSR under the communists, you could always vote but there was only one name on the ballot. Parties split up districts to make it appear there were different coalitions, but in reality they were just two sides of the same coin. It’s time for a bold, passionate electoral revolution. Social networking on the Internet awaits desirable candidates’ campaigns. We the voters must “become the change you desire to see happen.” Or bow our heads to the new 21st century form of human oppression that shall destroy the American middle class forever.

Robert Allen Schledwitz